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NT-SF1

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:37 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:One way around the latency problem, though, is simply to split out the A-format capsules and mix them together in some convenient way for a real-time monitoring feed. It won't have the accurate directionality or stereo image attributes of the properly decoded signals of course, but it should be enough for live performance monitoring.

Yes I can see that. I just, for interest, imported an A format file into Audacity to hear what the raw tracks sounded like and summing them does give what I would think would be a usable sound for monitoring.

I dunno - I haven't even bought the blessed mic yet and I'm finding the whole business fascinating.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:02 pm

Ambisonics is fascinating.

It builds directly on what Blumlein was doing with mid-sides arrays in the 1930s and, had he survived the War, I'm reasonably confident that he would have developed Ambisonics himself as it is such a logical extension.

As it was, it took Gerzon and Craven to do it in the 70s, but even then the analogue matrixing technology could barely keep up. That lead inevitably to those early SoundField mics having a (deserved) poor reputation for noise, and so limited their adoption quite considerably. They were more of a curiosity than a valid recording tool for most....

Calrec (who manufactured the original SoundField mics) was bought out by AMS in 1987. At that time AMS were leading proponents of digital audio, making reverbs and delay lines, and then the ground-breaking Audiofile DAW). They wanted a digital console to partner the Audiofile and so in 1987 they bought out Calrec who had been developing one.

Under this new ownership, the Soundfield mic was continued, and Ken Farrer (Former Calrec Director) designed the SoundField Mk5 and the SPS422 for them on a consultancy basis). However, once AMS has finished asset-stripping Calrec for its innovative digital sound console designs they had no interest in the rest of the former Calrec's products.

So, some of the original Calrec directors bought back the remnants of the analogue broadcast console business and re-established the independent Calrec brand (but were banned from developing digital consoles for a decade), while their original digital console design became the AMS Logic 1.

AMS subsequently bought out Neve, and then Siemens bought the whole thing, and the AMS brand is largely forgotten now.

Fortunately, though, some people could see the potential of the Soundfield mic and there was sufficient commercial interest for Ken Giles to acquire the technology from AMS in 1993 and relaunch it as the independent SoundField company which he ran alongside his other Drawmer Distribution business. It was under his stewardship that the mic was developed further, and the implementation of digital signal processing for the Ambisonic decoding at the turn of the century really allowed the true potential of the SoundField mic to be revealed. He also bought in help to make major improvements to the microphone's electronics to improve the fidelity and noise performance , and to redesign the portable version from the clunky AMS ST250 to the SoundField ST350 and now the ST450 mkii -- which is a phenomenal mic.

However, it's the current popularity of VR/AR that has created the huge demand for ambisonic technology, and hence the growth in other companies providing products and development of the format.

Ambisonics may well remain something of a specialist niche thing, but these newer low-cost ambisonic mics partnered with low-cost decoder plugins has really made the format far more affordable to those with a casual interest as well as the longstanding enthusiasts.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:14 pm

Thanks for that, Hugh. There is definitely one of these mics in my future. Sadly I don't think I can convince the SO to buy me one for Christmas :)

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:09 pm

Good evening! Mr Stirpot here...

... of course, there's always the Zoom H3-VR for those of more modest means...

:roll:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:13 pm

Ooh, I like that...... :clap:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:18 pm

Just had a browse through the Op Manual... no preamp specs shown... :frown:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:27 pm

Looks interesting and I like the idea of leaving it out for periods of time toi record bush sound, but no specs on the noise floor that I could see.......

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby blinddrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:27 pm

And only £320 from a certain retailer near me.
Very interesting device.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:30 pm

Now that's neat, I do agree. I'm still going to get a NT-SF1 but I use field recorders enough that I can easily see uses for this, and of course you can use the Soundfield and Rode plugins with the output. I can't see any specs for the mics either, which is a little worrying. Seems a shame it's only USB 2 as well, but then you can always take the card out and plug it in the computer. I do hope it gets reviewed in SoS.

With Zoom producing kit I think we can say: Ambisonics, your time has come.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby The Elf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:50 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Just had a browse through the Op Manual... no preamp specs shown... :frown:
But wow! That's the price level for those of us who are curious, but not committed!

How do you find out about these things?! :clap: :thumbup:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:18 am

The Elf wrote:But wow!

Indeed. I'm now fighting the strong urge to buy one in time for this Sunday's carol sing.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:29 am

The Elf wrote:How do you find out about these things?! :clap: :thumbup:

To be fair, it has only just been released. It looks an impressive little toy for the money.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:40 am

Of course if it doesn't work out then one can attach a small parachute and pretend it's a model of a Mercury space capsule. Then it'll really be a toy.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:45 am

:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:35 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:Of course if it doesn't work out then one can attach a small parachute and pretend it's a model of a Mercury space capsule. Then it'll really be a toy.

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The B&H reviewer begged to differ... he said Apollo space capsule... :D
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
To be fair, it has only just been released. It looks an impressive little toy for the money.

(Emphasis added by me).

Surely more than a 'toy' Hugh? Although I lament the lack of detailed specs, the listening I've done on cans shows no hints of a mediocre recording chain. But, of course, one never knows if any cleaning in post has occurred.

PinkNoise have them... maybe I'll wander over there sometime....
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:42 am

The Elf wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:Just had a browse through the Op Manual... no preamp specs shown... :frown:
But wow! That's the price level for those of us who are curious, but not committed!

How do you find out about these things?! :clap: :thumbup:

When one is transcribing vinyl, one has to while away the time somehow! I was actually looking for another Zoom product and Google 'helpfully' pointed me at this. I had a look because of the interest shown here in the new Rode mic...
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:51 am

No noise figures given for the Zoom, but the capsules look very small, so I'd expect noise performance to be significantly worse than on something like the NT-SF1.

Interesting that it has a motion sensor, though. That's actually something I'd want to switch off in most conventional recording applications, I think.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Dave B » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:58 am

I just hope someone has got one for review - I thought that the Rode was a game changer, but this is absurd! I suspect that a few of us will go for one on a punt at that price. And the ability to remote control it is fascinating as well.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Peevy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:07 am

Just wondering how you go about gain matching the Rode NT-SF1. I have a Zoom F8 for on location recording, so I would imagine that would work alright, but in my studio I don’t have four stepped gain or digital preamps. What would be the routine be for gain matching the capsules?

Also, how do you work out the recording angles? … or is that not relevant with a mic such as this?
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